Relationships Based on Power: Parents and Children

Parents play the most important role in the healthy development and growth of their children. They have control over their children both emotionally as well as financially. The power or the strictness that parents have towards their children is often considered to have a positive impact. However, there are times when these can also be negative. Most of the time it is seen that parents want children to be healthy, good at education, safe, and they do all things to make sure their aims for their child come true. This can also pose a problem that parents ignore the likes and dislikes of children. For instance, if the parent forces a child to take up science as a field of specialization and the child is least interested in the subject then such a situation can lead to problems in the child’s career.

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Understanding the role of power is essential as often it is noticed that many children take the wrong path of drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. when the parents have almost lost control over their children. Therefore it is most important to make the correct use of the power and guide the children in the correct direction. This is also because children misuse the financial support that they receive from their parents. Therefore, parents need to have control and power over their children. Together with the use of power, it is important for parents to follow some of the following basics such as “be firm and also fair” “persist on obedience” “being bold enough to express dissatisfaction by spanking” “discipline with love” “express parental right to show the way” and “children should be taught to obey and surrender to parental leadership.” (Gordon, n. pag)

Parents should also expect that their children will at some point in time revolt against the power. However, as a child, it is common that they almost do anything to defend against power-based control. Parents need to be handling such situations with boldness. A general tendency seen in children is that they try to keep away from it, delay it, weaken it, and turn away from it or even escape from it when parents try to put pressure or exhibit their power. In case they commit any mistake, in order to avoid the parents’ anger they put the blame on someone else, they hide it, or beg for mercy, or promise that they will never do it again. In fact, they always feel punitive discipline as embarrassing, demeaning, humiliating, frightening, and painful. To be forced into doing something against their will be like a personal insult” (Gordon, n. pag).

Today, there are a number of problems seen among children of different age groups. For instance, younger children, exhibit resistance, disobedience, dominant behavior, etc. whereas adolescents and teens, exhibit to a greater extent of violence and aggression, singling out, drug abuse, teenage sexual behavior, and failure in school. It is important that parents while encourage, nurture and foster positive behavior and productive attitudes in their children and at the same time resist the negative ones. This can bring happiness and peace to the family (Nault n.pag).

Power in the relationship of parents and children is most important in some of the issues such as watching television, physical exercise, healthy eating, computer, and network usage, etc. This involves both financial as well as emotional power that parents have on their children. For instance, there are several negative habits that are developed at an early age. Many researchers have linked the eating habits of children with increasing childhood obesity. An increasing trend in diet-related disease is to some extent attributable to profound shifts in the ways the children and families eat, which have occurred over the past two decades. It is often seen that due to the busy state of parents, more meals are consumed outside of the home and are often purchased directly by children. In other words, parents are not able to control their children’s eating behavior. Parents should be responsible for the diets of their children and need to control them (MacMillan et al. n.pag).

Youths today are faced with the challenge of coping with an ever-broadening spectrum of influences on decision-making and behavior. If parents control their emotions and have open talks many of these influences that have potentially negative effects on growth and development can be solved. For example, social environments have been linked with participation in potentially “at-risk” behaviors such as the use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (Hundleby and Mercer 151-64). One of the most important reasons for this is the lack of healthy parental guidance and monitoring.

Today, one of the biggest concerns among parents is the effect of television on children. According to the AAP, children in the United States see 40,000 commercials each year. From the junk food and soft drink advertisements, children persuade their parents to buy them. This leads to major health problems and is a serious concern around the world (Dowshen and Gavin n.pag). One of the most common questions in their minds is how does watching television impact the intellectual, moral, and psychological development of their children? As television has become the most common entertainment source around the world, most children plug into the world of television long before they even enter school. Studies estimate that the average child spends 900 hours in school and nearly 1,023 hours in front of a TV in a year. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV a day. It is essential for the parents to inculcate in their children the habit of watching TV at a specific time and should not get in the way of studies (Dowshen and Gavin n.pag).

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The impact of young suicide ripples out beyond the individual and their family to affect both other young people and those involved in their education and welfare. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults. In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 4,243 adolescents and young adults ages 10-24 took their own lives, resulting in a suicide rate of 7 per 100,000. In 2001, suicide accounted for 11.7% of all deaths for this age group. This makes suicide the third leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults after unintentional injury and homicide (NCIPC, 2004).

In conclusion, most of the above-discussed issues are linked with the relationship of power in the parental part. Parents support the child both emotionally as well as financially and therefore they have power and control. If a child is doing wrong the parents can emotionally control it through punishments or even open talks with the child. If the child is misusing the financial support the parents can stop or cut off the financial support. If parents take control over their children’s habits and help them to make the right choices in life it could be possible to reduce all these problems. Parents who demonstrate love and caring for their children through the proper use of power, who are involved in their children’s activities, and who monitor and supervise their children’s behaviors are more likely to have their children grow as healthy adults.

Work Cited

Dowshen, S. and Gavin, M. L., How TV Affects Your Child, [2005]. Web.

Gordon, T. How Children Really React to Control, [2008]. Web.

Hundleby J. D. and Mercer G. W., Family and Friends as Social Environments and Their Relationship to Young Adolescents’ Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana, Journal of Marriage and the Family, XLIX (1987), 151-64.

MacMillan, T., Dowler, E., and Archard, D. Corporate responsibility for children’s diets [2008]. Web.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control [NCIPC]. (2004). Mortality reports database Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web.

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Nault, K. Parents Taking Control of Young Children’s Behavior, [2008]. Web.

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